Pearl Harbor Attack *theoretically* justified?

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,983
How do you mean?
I thought I explained it quite explicitly. Japan demanded to be treated "equally and fairly" by European powers while operating in Imperialist expansionism in Asia. It had no intention of treating nations it percived as weaker "equally and fairly".

Of course Hypocrisy was no restricted to Japan.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,983
Well, that was how the 19th c. Great Power concert generally operated, wasn't it? Countries deemed not fit for independence were acceptable for empire and colonisation.

And since the LN and post-WWI attempt at a different sort of rules-based international politics never really worked (US out), and by the 1930's started to rapidly completely unravel (Italy, Japan, Germany, USSR), there was a reversion to it in the lead up to WWII.
Within Spheres of influence and the Great Power pecking order. A nation reckless expanding and threatening the order of tings would be brought around by militarily force. As Japan was.

If you accept the colonial/imperialist world view Japan actions were precipitate tension , It was over reaching it's power upseating the order.
 
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Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,884
T'Republic of Yorkshire
@Naomasa298 My academic sympathy for the Japanese can only go so far. However, it is important to note that regardless of how bizarre the Japanese were acting, the responsibilty was still on the U.S. State Dept to get it right and understand these things. I can forgive Japanese arrogance and pride probably farther than most, largely because they managed an unaparalled feat in history: they went from a nation of medieval rice farmers to global power in less than 50 years. But it was that same national pride and arrogance that was their downfall: the Midway victory for America was assisted greatly by large amounts of miltiary arrogance, unrealistic assessments, poilitical infighting and no small amount of hubris.
I'm not suggesting sympathy, I'm simply providing an explanation (in my view) of their mindset.
 
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Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
6,510
Portugal
The way they were treated after WW1 further reinforced that perspective, that the west still did not see or treat Japan as an equal.
What were the grievances (real or imagines by the Japanese) that the other Allies made against them, after the WWI? Is the Kiautschou issue with China that you are referring?
 

MG1962a

Ad Honorem
Mar 2019
2,384
Kansas
What were the grievances (real or imagines by the Japanese) that the other Allies made against them, after the WWI? Is the Kiautschou issue with China that you are referring?
Their treatment at Versailles for one thing
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,884
T'Republic of Yorkshire
What were the grievances (real or imagines by the Japanese) that the other Allies made against them, after the WWI? Is the Kiautschou issue with China that you are referring?
The Japanese were denied a racial equality clause in the Treat of Versailles. That confirmed to them that the West still regarded them as inferiors.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
6,107
Within Spheres of influence and the Great Power pecking order. A nation reckless expanding and threatening the order of tings would be brought around by militarily force. As Japan was.

If you accept the colonial/imperialist world view Japan actions were precipitate tension , It was over reaching it's power upseating the order.
If one accepted the wisdom of the day on a lot of hands, not least in the imperial administration business, the yellow man was inherently inferior to the white, so there was that as well.
 

redcoat

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,950
Stockport Cheshire UK
Well surprise attacks have become the norm since ww2..
Surprise attacks were the norm in WW2.
All the nations Germany attacked with the exception of Britain, France and the USA were surprise attacks. With Britain and France it was because they declared war on Germany, the USA was the only nation Germany issued a declaration of war against.
Nations Germany attacked without warning.
Poland.
Denmark.
Norway.
Belgium.
Luxembourg.
The Netherlands.
Greece.
Yugoslavia.
and the Soviet Union
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
14,286
Surprise attacks were the norm in WW2.
All the nations Germany attacked with the exception of Britain, France and the USA were surprise attacks. With Britain and France it was because they declared war on Germany, the USA was the only nation Germany issued a declaration of war against.
Nations Germany attacked without warning.
Poland.
Denmark.
Norway.
Belgium.
Luxembourg.
The Netherlands.
Greece.
Yugoslavia.
and the Soviet Union
Note how all of those are by Germany, which is one of the reason it became such a pariah that only unconditional surrender was acceptable... Even Italy went through the proces of declaring war on the allies and later , war with Greece was arrived at through use of Ultimatum (not quite a declaration of war, but close... also it seems Germany DID declare war on Greece)

France and the UK declared war on Germany as per procedure, as did many others later on

 
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tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
14,286
Their treatment at Versailles for one thing
Japan had really not done much during WW1, using it as an opportunity to grab German possessions in the Pacific for essentially, free..... It suffered just a few hundred casualties , barely more than in training accidents in peacetime... So it could not expect much from Versailles